Croatian cook-book

The hilly area around the town of Ilok, is known since Ancient times as "Delicium Mundi", due to high quality white wines from their wineyards. The most famous is TRAMINAC, known as Royal Wine. It was served during the coronation of Queen Elisabeth, and is still represented in the Queen's collection of wines. The town of Ilok suffered very much during the Serbian aggression on Croatia in 1990s.

The Ilok Winery (Ilok is a Croatian town on the Danube river) can boast that in 1954 Great Britain oredered 11000 (eleven thousand!) bottles of wine for the official ceremony of coronation of the British Queen Elisabeth II. The Ilok wineries produce 4-5 million liters of wine per year.

The wine cellars of Kutjevo on the Croatian north exist continuously since 1232, that is, for nearly eight centuries! The Kutjevo wines are very famous in Croatia.

The first exporter of Australian wines was Trojan Drvenica, that is, Troyano Darveniza, originating from the region of Dubrovnik. The coat of arms that this Croat used for his excelsior wines label contained the Enu and Kangaroo and was registered in 1898.

Excerpt from the article by Jean Lunt-Marinovic:

...The Darveniza wines and spirits, in 1888, 1889, 1890, and between 1891 and 1897 won for Australia over 300 prizes including 9 championships, 18 special gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals, in European cities, etc. Trojano Darveniza from the Dubrovnik region, was elected to the Grand Jury of France. ...

Maraschino is a famous liqueur made of maraska, a special sort of sour cherry growing in the region near the city of Zadar. It was a cult drink at royal courts from London to Moscow in 18th to 19th centuries. Balzac mentions this Croatian liqueur in his Journey into Life. Information from Croatia, homeland of Marco Polo, Croatian national tourist board, 2008.


Martin Bogdanovich arrived to the USA as a young fisherman in 1908. After years of hard work he became the proprietor of the fish factory "Star Kist" in San Pedro, the largest in the world.

Lidia Bastianich (born in Croatia, in Istria), was proclaimed the best cook in the USA in 1999. She is chef of her own Felidia restaurant in Manhattan (New York), and coowner of another two restaurants in New York, and one in Kansas City.

Zinfandel was often called the "mystery" grape because its European origins were oddly uncertain. Bottled wines bearing the varietal label "Zinfandel" appeared as early as 1883 in California. Hence, Zin is known as "California's grape". However, since recently (2001), due to joint efforts of the USA and Croatian specialists, we know that the american zinfandel originates from Croatia, more precisely, from Kastel Stari near the city of Split. There it is known under the names of mali plavac and crljenak.

The search of the origin of zinfandel has been initiated in the second half of the 20th century by mr. Miljenko "Mike" Grgich, one of the greatest american winegrowers (born in Croatia, on the Peljesac peninsula, famous for its "double insolation" of grapes: simultaneously from the sun and from the sea reflection). As a young student of agronomy in Zagreb, dissatisfied with the communist rule in ex-Yugoslavia, he emigrated to the USA. With the advent of free Croatia in 1990s, he returned back to his homeland.

Mr. Miljenko Grgich had first drawn worldwide attention in 1976 as a result of the famous "Paris Tasting" in which an all French panel of judges chose his 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay over the best of the white Burgundies in a blind tasting. His wines have been enjoyed not only on special occasions by world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and President Francois Mitterand. His wines are being offered on tables of the White House in Washington. For more information see Grgich Hills, and also at HIC (in Croatian).

Puffed-rice chocolate bar was invented in Croatia in 1963, at the Zvečevo factory in the town of Požega on Croatian north (in the region of Slavonia). The name of the chocolate with rice is Mikado.

The Croatian name for a cook is KUHAR. It is interesting that in Istria (important peninsula on western part of Croatian coast), near the town of Zminj, there is a small village of Kuhari (= cooks). Moreover, mr. Josip Pino Kuhar, born in the village of Kuhari, is outstanding kuhar in Croatia.

The world's biggest truffle was found in Istria, weighing 1.3 kg!

The Pag Cheese

Ivan Gligora's Pag Cheese has been awarded with the Superior Taste mark in Brussels 2010. The Gligora company was awarded World Cheese Awards in Birmingham 2010 as the best among 2636 international cheeses.

Croatian Cooking & Brenda Brkusic on KOCE-TV

Fifty three Croatian wines awarded at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2010

Croatian pupil Martin Kotarski and Bill Gates awarded in Japan
Martin Kotarski initiated writing a cookbook in order to help poor people in his school

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